We are proud to announce that 2017 marks our 25th anniversary. Sandersons started as an independent agent and remains resolutely so to this day. We were founded on the principles of excellence and have constantly sought to provide the very best in customer service. To deliver on this requires constant re-evaluation and evolution to keep up with the changes in legislation and technology as well as changing customer expectations.
We pride ourselves on being different from our competitors and, we believe that it is largely because of the individual and proactive approach we take, we can announce that 2016 was our most successful trading year to date. This success is not just measured in our trading figures but the added value that we have brought to our customers. It is our goal to be at least cost neutral to all our clients and ideally to achieve greater returns for them through our involvement.
It is generally accepted that 2016 was a difficult trading year for the industry. The lead up to the referendum and the resulting after shocks had a dramatic effect on people's confidence and property stock levels. Leading competitors saw their sales reduce by 50%. In contrast to this, we saw a steady increase in our requests for valuations, instructions, sales agreed and completed. From the year ending 2013 to the year ending 2016 we have seen a 318.87% increase in the level of sales business we have completed.
Our rental portfolio of managed properties has also increased and our property management team continues to provide the very best of service. We have introduced new software for our tenants to report maintenance issues online 24/7, thus providing additional reassurance for our landlords that they are protected by the potential implications of the latest changes in legislation. We have further improved the rent and legal cover for our landlords. This means we can guarantee 100% of the rental payments up to vacant possession. Because we are in control of the scheme rather than relying on a third party, our landlords receive their rental payments on time with no excess.
In 2016 we entered into consultation with a prolific, local developer who was looking to instruct an agent to market and sell a new development of 68 houses and apartments. This provided us with an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the added value that we can bring. The developer anticipated a return of £13.7 million for the sale of all the units and hoped this would be achieved within 6 months. Based on our local knowledge of the market, we proposed a specific marketing strategy that involved releasing the units in staggered phases. On the basis of our recommendations we were formally instructed to be the sole agent handling the entire project. The outcome was, we sold all the units in 5 months - 17% ahead of expectation. The final price achieved was in in excess of £14.3 million - £500,000 more than their original expectation. This is a clear example of where we were not just cost neutral, but demonstrated a clear and substantial profit for our client through our involvement. We believe this success is because of our superior marketing, our detailed local knowledge, the level of skill our negotiators bring and the thoroughness of our progression process. In short, we invest in the best people and the best tools and together they achieve in excess of what even the most exacting clients expect.
2016 also saw an impressive growth in the number of our partner associations. In line with our desire to be proactive, we actively network with other professionals who we believe share our commitment to excellence. We have a department that is dedicated to working with local architects, solicitors, planning consultants and builders. As a result of this investment, we are seeing a growing level of new instruction on some really exciting local projects. Increasingly, we are extending our influence in building innovation and establishing our growing footprint in the land and new homes arena.
Ultimately, we know that our success relies heavily on the calibre of our staff and their ability to work coherently as a team. In contrast to many of our competitors, we are extremely proud of our record of staff retention. This enables us to develop a quality of relationship with our client's we believe is largely unrivalled.
It just remains for us to thank all our clients for their support and business in 2016. Further we would like to congratulate our team for their extraordinary efforts. We assure you all of our commitment to making 2017 even better.
Sophie Arnold and Mark Weller (Directors)
Sandersons UK has traded since 1992. We are proud of our trading record and have expanded largely through recommendation. We aim to work in association with all our clients delivering a service that is tailored to suit their needs.
Our staff are all highly trained and we have held the Investor in People Award since November 2005. Our latest report said of us "People at all levels demonstrate an extremely high level of personal commitment to the provision of quality services and have a clear focus on the needs of their respective clients"
For friendly, professional advice from your local property experts call us today.